A Polish blogger, Mr Michael Petraeus, who is known online as Critical Spectator, has taken the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) to task, accusing it of posting fake news.
In a post on Friday (Jan 3), Mr Petraeus says the SDP has been “lying with charts”.
He says: “Frankly, I still am on the fence about whether these people are so dishonest or maybe just unbelievably incompetent, incapable of comprehending not only basic economic indicators but simple written text as well.”
Mr Petraeus goes on to accuse the party of “quite deliberate manipulation” and attempts in “misleading the public simply by stirring so much confusion”.
He claims that the SDP distorted the graphs presented by the Ministry of Manpower on the unemployment rates of Professionals, Managers, Executives and Technicians (PMETs), adding that, “instead of using all data points for the full 10 years they cut off the early crisis years — most likely because they prove that after a brief spike the economy quickly absorbed the unemployed PMETs”.
“They have also truncated the Y-axis,” he adds, which makes the increase in unemployment rates look much larger and more pronounced than they actually are across a number of years.
Mr Petraeus explains that “the result is that everything in the chart is enormously stretched, implying a much greater pace of change than what is really recorded”.
The SDP is currently embroiled in conflict with the MOM, after the latter invoked Pofma, the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act, saying that the party’s Facebook posts and article on Singapore’s population policy contained “a misleading graphic and false statement of facts”.
On Dec 16 last year, while the SDP complied with the Pofma correction directions and posted correction notices on its article and earlier Facebook posts, it said that “the conclusions that Manpower Minister Josephine Teo has come to are disputable”. On Thursday (Jan 2), the party called on the minister to retract the POFMA Correction Directions she issued to the party on Dec 14 last year and issue an apology.
On Friday (Jan 3), the SDP submitted an application to the ministry to cancel the three Correction Directions it had issued. /TISG